Beacon Hill marks Juneteenth with calls to guard schooling, pursue reparations


Years after Massachusetts and the federal authorities moved to make Juneteenth an official vacation in the US, native leaders urged policymakers Wednesday to maintain pushing for reforms on schooling, reparations, freedom, and equality.

The vacation marks the day in 1865 when enslaved folks in Galveston, Texas came upon they have been free after the Civil Battle and greater than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Sen. Lydia Edwards, a Boston Democrat, mentioned folks have been enslaved for 2 extra years as a result of “they were kept in the dark, because they were kept ignorant of their rights.”

“The ability to enslave people is directly connected to the ability to prevent them from being educated, from being able to read, from being able to know what they are deserving of, what they are born with, to know their own history,” Edwards mentioned throughout a Juneteenth Flag elevating ceremony on the State Home.

Edwards mentioned advocates and elected officers have to battle “vigilantly to assure that there’s freedom in our education.”

“The minds of our youth are being attacked with horrible narratives that somehow learning about the imperfections of this country makes us weaker. It makes us stronger. Love is true if it’s complete and honest. I love this country. I’ve joined the United States military to die for this country because I’m honest about what this country is and has been to my own family,” she mentioned at an occasion that was held throughout the road from the monument to the 54th Regiment, one of many first Black regiments of the Civil Battle.

NAACP Boston President Tanisha Sullivan mentioned there’s extra work to be finished for the “promise of freedom and equality that Juneteenth Freedom Day brought forth to be realized.”

“I ask that my fellow Bay Staters join our Legislature and our Governor’s Office in advancing policy that ensures that every resident of this commonwealth has access to affordable housing that is provided with dignity, that gives them an opportunity to build generational wealth,” she mentioned. “Because that is the promise of Juneteenth.”

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